Wednesday, November 21, 2007

News and Notes

One critic hopes that Denis Johnson's winning a National Book Award will help the author reach a much wider audience. "[Johnson] may be the one American writer of his generation (the generation raised on Vietnam and Woodstock) who consistently writes with that overarching standard of engagement, who's not playing games but going after something fundamental, using literature to get at the essence of who we are" [via Confessions of An Idiosyncratic Mind].

Did Lily Bart, the heroine of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, commit suicide at the end of the novel? A letter, recently rediscovered within a first edition of the novel, offers some clues to this literary mystery.


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